Catholic school to switch patronage while ensuring religious education continues

Catholic school to switch patronage while ensuring religious education continues Scoil Chaitlín Maude in Tallaght, Dublin.

The Church in Dublin has decided to hand over management of a Catholic Irish language school to another patron body after ensuring that religious education will continue under the new multi-denominational ethos.

Archbishop Dermot Farrell hailed the transfer of patronage of Scoil Chaitlín Maude from the Archdiocese of Dublin to An Foras Pátrúnachta as “a good model for the future to accommodate parents’ requests”.

Negotiations have been ongoing as part of the Church’s desire to create more pluralism in education by divesting from some schools where there is already a plentiful supply of places in local Catholic schools.

In a statement on Friday, Dr Farrell confirmed that Catholic children in Scoil Chaitlín Maude will continue to be prepared for First Holy Communion and Confirmation as part of the school day.

This is seen as significant in guaranteeing the rights of parents who want to continue to have a Catholic education for their children.

Dr Farrell said that the transfer “marks a new chapter in Ireland’s education system.

“Scoil Chaitlín Maude will provide education through the medium of Irish to Catholic children and to children of other faiths and none,” he said.

Catholic children

He added that: “During the school day provision will be made for the faith formation, religious education and sacramental preparation of Catholic children in accordance with the Grow in Love primary Catholic education programme.

“Other children will follow a moral and ethics programme,” he said.

Archbishop Farrell described the venture as “truly a multi-denominational school to cater for the needs of the Irish speaking community in Tallaght.

“This is a good model for the future to accommodate parents’ requests,” he said.

The archbishop added: “I am willing to enter into further discussions with An Foras Pátrúnachta regarding other gaelscoileanna.

“I wish to thank the education partners, the board of management and staff of Scoil Chaitlín Maude, Minister for Education, Norma Foley, and her officials, for progressing this new arrangement,” he said.

More than a decade ago, the Church signalled a willingness to divest from some Catholic schools where there was duplication or no longer demand to justify an additional Catholic school. Progress to date has been slow with difficulty in achieving local agreement cited as one of the reasons.

Scoil Chaitlín Maude was founded in 1985 to cater for Irish medium education in Tallaght. The school was named after Caitlín Maude, the poet and sean-nós singer who lived in Tallaght and who was active in founding Scoil Santain, the first Irish medium school in Tallaght.

Today, there are 345 children enrolled with 30 staff.